The Rebuild Your Life Project – One Year Later

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Te-Erika Patterson Hair AfroSo here I am, one day away from the 1 year anniversary of The Rebuild Your Life Project, where I became homeless on purpose to face my own fear of failure and to teach other women how to survive the biggest failure- homelessness.

Around this time last year, I was hugging my sons goodbye after a weekend of fun at the beach and one last cuddle time, not knowing what would happen after the project. I had such high expectations for my journey into and out of homelessness. I knew I would survive it because I always survive everything. I had no idea how wild the journey would actually be. I wasn’t fearful about my safety. I was sure that when people heard about it they would want to partner with me to help the homeless. I was certain that the homeless people that I met were just people who couldn’t find work and that all they needed was someone like me, to stand up for them.

I was wrong on so many levels. But that’s neither here nor there. That project changed me in a lot of ways, some ways I wish would go back and others that I am very proud of.

The one thing that I can share is, homelessness isn’t as bad as you think. Actually, nothing ever is. The FEAR of it is much worse than the reality and everytime I go to work I think about what life would be like if I just let it all go, decided not to work and just be free, homeless and under the radar. I have sons so I could never actually DO that, until they grow up, but it’s definitely an option in my mind. I feel disconnected from people in a way that I didn’t before the project. I no longer have any desire to be joined to anyone. It’s like, I’m participating in society yet, I’m doing it out of habit and not sincere interest and passionate emotion for the roles I play.

Even though I feel less than enthused about my role in society, I still become excited when others achieve their goals. There’s a young lady at work who got a little promotion and it really made my heart sing to hear about it although her whole life is about to become all about the restaurant, something I would never allow to happen in my life.

I wanted to do something BIG for the 1 year anniversary of The Rebuild Your Life Project, but my efforts have all been on learning how to make my blog grow and I haven’t had any creative inspiration as far as celebrating.

I work hard at this. I know it doesn’t seem like it because it’s just another blog but I take classes to learn from the big time bloggers, the ones who earn all of their income blogging. I study their successes. I write nearly every article on here and there are more than 500. I have to research, reach out to women and interview them, at least 5 a week so I can be current. I have to pay attention to who is winning awards and coming out with new things. I organize writers, market my blog posts and structure advertising rates and explore new ways to monetize this blog.

Yes, I want this to be my full time job which will eventually develop into a media empire with a press corps, staff of writers and finally-women contacting ME to use this platform to promote their work instead of me having to stalk them.

The Rebuild Your Life Project was a part of me investing in my business. A part of my business is using my own life to show women how to improve theirs. I call this site MY Savvy Sisters because I believe that as I grow into my dream, I can teach others how to do the same. I picture this site becoming a beacon of hope, instruction and help for women everywhere who need that support to help push them to the next level in life.

Right now I sure wish I had some support when it comes to strategizing and growing my business. Financially would be great, but my job as a waitress at Denny’s pretty much takes care of me and my bills. I got off of food stamps and haven’t really missed them which is so weird to me; I still eat out with my sons every week. This blog supports itself through some of the affiliate programs I have signed up with and my ebooks, I sell enough of those to pay for the monthly newsletter program and other incidentals like marketing. Press releases are the most expensive investment I make but they are so worth it.

I am not unhappy about being a waitress, I adore making my customers smile and Denny’s has the right kind of people who come in; we’re a perfect match for each other. Some days I do long to move on from waitressing and work my blog full time but when I begin to feel frustrated I just remind myself to be faithful where I am and to keep trying.

I feel myself growing past the issues of my past. Of course, I am no longer afraid of homelessness but aside from that, I am really, REALLY no longer as impatient as I was. I used to beat myself up about not being where I know I deserve to be. I knew I had this gift that was undeniable and I was waiting for someone else to notice it. That never happened so I had to create my own vehicle, which you are reading right now. I had to make investments in myself, to learn how to stand on my own two feet and to transform any loss or negative situation into a benefit for me.

I can do this now with no sweat. It’s crazy that I can’t think of anything that would devastate me so much that I can’t figure out a way to benefit from it. My mind is trained that way now.

I’ve lost some friends. Or maybe it’s just that I am no longer interested in the things that used to make us bond. Boys. Toys. Drama. I’m straight. I don’t need that in my life. While I still love every one of them, my desire to see and interact with them has all but vanished. I send them all well wishes but I am so detached from claiming them as MINE and imagining a life of vacations and shopping and BBQ’s like I used to do. I feel like none of that has to happen and I’ll be fine.

One of the biggest things that has changed since this time last year is the fact that I am no longer just ‘not religious’; I guess you can call me an atheist. It’s not like I am totally adamant about the idea that God doesn’t exist (See, I even capitalized the word God to show respect), it’s just that for me, developing a dependency on any force outside of yourself is a failure method. I see why others do it, they need someone to lean on, but I can’t be like that anymore. If God does exist and decides to look out for me, so be it, but I won’t wait around for it.

I don’t feel like this life is a trial run for another life. I don’t feel like I will be judged. I don’t care about heaven or hell. What do I care about? Hm. Good question. I care about the fact that this existence, whatever that means, is what I am experiencing right now and I want to be as comfortable as I can while I am in it. I also want to see if I can change the financial future of my family. In every wealthy family there was that ONE person who had an idea or took a risk and it paid off and centuries later, their family doesn’t even understand the word poverty. I want to see if I can do that for my family, it would be great if my sons would never have to be on food stamps again and their children would never even have to THINK about experiencing a government hand out.

I also want to see if I could impact people’s lives in a positive way. For me, it’s really important to give the things I wish I had, the number one being support. I think for years my friends coddled me in my mess and devastation and that was unhealthy for me. I know they were just showing me their version of love but I don’t think that is what I needed. I needed someone to show me HOW to not be pathetic and miserable and HOW to live a beautiful life. That’s what I hope to teach other women who are sincerely fed up with being sad and miserable. I was just like that and now I’m not.

I still have anxiety but its not depressing like it used to be. I’m good most days, other days I’m GREAT. I’m still trying, still moving along and hoping that this foundation I am laying will blossom into something beautiful one day. I can wait on it. I’m good. I’m okay.

Love,

Te-Erika

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One Response

  1. Kitty K. Free May 20, 2012

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